Friday, January 30, 2009

The Connells - "Scotty's Lament" (forgotten song)

The Connells were a band from Raleigh NC that had a string of minor hits from the mid 80s to early 90s. Their biggest hit was probably 1989's "Fun & Games", and while that is a great song the rest of their work should not be overlooked. Unfortunately, nearly their entire catalog is owned by the now defunct TVT Records. As a result, their LPs are out of print and their songs are not available through outlets like iTunes. The band's website gives some information about their catalog's status and is hopeful that the LPs will be reissued on Ryko.

The band's sound was squarely in the mid 80s college radio scene, with a bit of a Byrds-like, jangly sound courtesy of both guitarists often playing 12 string Rickenbackers. "Scotty's Lament", the first song on their 1987 LP "Boylan Heights", is probably my favorite song by The Connells in part because of its great chorus and the contrast between lead and backing vocals. You can't listen to this song and not sing along. The song is a lyrical tour de force as well: "I delight in my despair" -- you'd be hard pressed to come up with a better five word summary of the entire genre*. Robert Smith and Morrissey should be proud.

Despite some success at the time, The Connells are probably less well known today than some of their contemporaries. Having their catalog embroiled in a legal dispute clearly does not help. Here's hoping that situation is resolved and The Connells regain their due recognition.

Links: YouTube and Rhapsody.

* Honorable mention: "Robert Smith is still sad" -- Kurt Loder.

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